The Edge of Honor
The year is
1863. The American Civil War is leaving its bloody trail
across the nation and Peter Wake, a third generation New
England schooner sailor, is out of work and facing
"If you've got to go to war, son, go as a sailor.
Soldiers live and die in the mud," is the advice
from his father. Wake follows that advice and joins the
U.S. Navy as a volunteer officer. He is sent to the East
Gulf Blockading Squadron, based at Key West, an island
off the extreme southern end of Florida.
He is assigned command of the Rosalie, a small
armed sloop that only months before had been a enemy
blockade-runner in South Carolina. Aboard his new
command, Wake learns that the wartime naval glories and
exploits he read about in the northern papers don't exist
down on the steamy coasts of subtropical Florida. What he
finds instead, is a dirty little guerrilla war where
nothing is as it first appears, and every decision he
makes has unforeseen consequences. An experienced seaman
and former merchant marine officer, Wake also learns that
a naval officer has to be more than a good sailor, for he
carries a special burden in war-the burden of
intentionally sending his men into harms way.
Wake's exploits earn him the recognition of the
squadron's senior leadership , and he is ordered on
special missions to ascertain intelligence of Confederate
operations in the shadowy and sinister world of Havana,
center of the Spanish Empire in the Caribbean, and the
remote outer islands of the British Bahamas.
International intrigue has its own murky reefs and
shoals, giving Wake few options and many dangers , as he
overcomes situations he would never have dreamed of only
months before, while on a schooner in New England.
The turmoil in Wake's life comes not only from the sea
and the enemy. He falls hopelessly , and foolishly, in
love with Linda Donahue, the daughter of a Key West
pro-Confederate zealot. Both lovers face the antipathy of
their peers for having an affair with the
"enemy," but cling to each other as the only
hope of tranquillity in an insane world at war.
Throughout it all, Peter Wake demonstrates that most
salient of American characteristics, the ability to adapt
and overcome incredible challenges. It is while facing
those challenges, both afloat and ashore, that Peter Wake
makes decisions that take him right up to the edge of
has made his mark upon the United States Navy's East Gulf
Blockading Squadron, received a promotion, and been given
a larger command, the schooner St. James. Wake
proceeds to fulfill his assignments, but soon finds
himself afoul of senior officers on his own side,
political appointees to Army commands whose mistakes are
measured in blood.
His personal life takes a new turn, as
love conquers animosity in a unique way that only Key
West could provide. His lover becomes the anchor and soul
of his life, as Wake continues to accomplish daunting
missions, including some that have no apparent solution.
reputation as an intelligent officer who can face any
situation and overcome it, gets its greatest challenge to
date, as he puts everything on the
line. . .all for a
point of honor.
Peter Wake's hopes for
a quick and peaceful end to the Civil War
disappear in the desperate turmoil of 1865 Florida and the Caribbean.
Old acquaintances, both friend and adversary, come back into Wake's
in ways he didn't anticipate, while murky intrigues of sinister
characters keep the danger real and the future uncertain. And of
as always, Peter Wake is the one man that makes things happen when no
one else can.
newest novel of the exploits of Peter Wake, USN, is now out and in
distribution to stores everywhere. The year is 1869 and Wake is ending
his very first tour of shore duty at Pensacola Navy Yard. He’ll be
heading down into Central America as executive officer aboard a gunboat
on a mission to find and end the maniacal rampage of a former US naval
officer who became a mercenary, then turned bad—very bad.
search takes Wake from the perilous alleys of Cartagena, Colombia, and
the fetid jungles of Panama—to the Moskito Coast of Nicaragua and the
smoky villages of Haiti. Along the way, he comes across cutthroats in
Colombia, brave Indios in Panama, good men in the Royal Navy of Great
Britain and the Spanish Navy, two-faced politicians from several
countries, the most evil enemy he has ever faced, and a treacherous man
in his own ship. Even while worrying about his marriage back home, he
braves a daring rescue attempt on a lee-shore, shot and shell from
desperate pirates, uncharted reefs on desolate coasts, international
intrigue involving the potential canal across the Isthmus, a moribund
American naval administration, and in the end, his own court-martial in
researching and writing this novel I made a six-week, 10,000-mile voyage
aboard a German freighter along the Caribbean and Pacific coasts of
South America. On that voyage I experienced modern pirates attempt to
board the ship, some very unsavory characters ashore in Colombia, a
Force-9 storm at sea, and numerous other adventures. For this novel
I’ve also relied upon my experiences in Panama during an expedition
about nine years ago, during which I journeyed through the jungle to
Porto Bello and made my way to the remote San Blas coast, where I spent
time with the fascinating Cuna Indians.
novel was exciting for me to write and I am very happy to report that
the first critics have had wonderful things to say—the reviews will be
posted here a little later.
Affair of Honor
At the beginning of this fifth novel in Robert N.
Macomber's award winning Honor Series, it's December 1873 and
Lieutenant Peter Wake is the executive officer of the USS
Omaha on dreary patrol in the West Indies. Lonely
for his family, he is looking forward to returning home to
Pensacola in a few months and rekindling his troubled marriage
But fate has other plans for Wake. He runs afoul of the
Royal Navy in Antiqua, and is declared a spy when he stumbles
on shocking new information about a British ship there.
A beautiful French woman enters his life in Martinique.
Then he's suddenly sent off on staff assignment to Europe,
where he is soon immersed in the cynical swirl of Old World
After meeting up with one Peter Sharpe Allen, a Royal Marine
who talks him into a side trip in Seville, Wake finds himself
running for his life after getting embroiled in Spanish
politics. He faces diplomatic intrigue in Genoa and is
caught up in French, German, and British affairs of state in a
castle down the coast at Porto Fino. Then his real test
comes when he and his old friend, Sean Rork are sent on a
no-win mission to rescue missionaries in northern Africa.
Not the least of his troubles is Madame Catherine Faber de
Champlain, wife of a French diplomat. Her many charms
involve Peter Wake in an affair of honor.
of the highest award in the genre -
The American Library Association's
2008 W.Y. Boyd Literary Award for Excellence
Different Kind of Honor
1879 and Lt. Cmdr. Peter Wake, U.S.N., is on special assignment
as the official American neutral naval observer to the War of
the Pacific raging along the west coast of South America. Chile,
having invaded the coast of Bolivia, has gone on to overrun Peru
and controls the entire southeastern Pacific region. Washington,
concerned over European involvement in the war and the French
effort to build a canal through Panama, has sent Wake to observe
not only the naval war, but the political intrigues of the
region as well.
Wake’s dangerous mission—as part naval observer, part
diplomat, and part spy—he will witness history’s first
battle between ocean-going ironclads, ride the world’s first
deep-diving submarine, face his first machine guns in combat,
discover an unlikely bond with an international brotherhood,
advise the French trying to build the Panama Canal, and run for
his life in the Catacombs of the Dead in Lima, Peru.
the War of the Pacific, Peter Wake confronts a very different
kind of honor, one that will continue to haunt him. And while he
is away, Wake’s family back home in Washington copes with
their own catastrophic
event—one that will eventually change all of their lives
The Honored Dead
seventh novel of the award-winning Honor Series finds Lt.
Cmdr. Peter Wake, Office of Naval Intelligence, aboard a
riverboat on the Mekong River, in 1883 French Indo-China.
The mission sounded simple in Washington: deliver the American
president’s reply to a secret naval offer from the king of
Cambodia, while assessing the region’s
political-military situation. Wake figures it’ll take two
more weeks and he’ll be homeward bound.
months later, after nearly dying at the hands of opium
warlords, Chinese-Malay pirates, and French gangsters; after
suffering starvation at sea, nearly falling in love with a
beautiful widow, surviving a typhoon, being marooned on a
beach, and enduring a horrific full-scale battle—Wake is
still there. Exhausted, frustrated, and scared, he and his
motley band of companions, can now testify that nothing is
simple in the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Empire of Viet Nam.
story illuminates the beginning of the bloody cultural clash
that lasted for the next hundred years in Southeast Asia, with
each side determined to avenge their honored dead.
addition, there is a huge surprise at the very beginning
of this novel, one that will please and intrigue long time and
new readers alike, kindling a mystery it may take years to
solve. All in all, this was the most fascinating, and
dangerous, novel yet for me to research and write,
compelling me to journey by riverboat , from the Delta
country in Vietnam, far up the Mekong River, into the interior
of Cambodia. My trek echoed the journey Wake made
himself, one-hundred and twenty-six years ago, almost to the
day of the book's release. Just as with Peter Wake, it
changed my life forever.
I am extremely honored to receive the accolade displayed
below, from a man who knows a thing or two about naval
intelligence, and missions on distant stations, after three
long decades of service to this country.
The Darkest Shade of
eighth novel of the Honor Series begins with Commander Peter
Wake, of the U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval Intelligence, at
New York City in 1886, where he meets two intense young men
who will dramatically influence his life: Theodore Roosevelt
and José Martí. Presented with a secret coded message, he
deciphers it for Roosevelt, and soon wishes he hadn’t.
to Washington, he is assigned to follow up on the secret
message and uncover the extent of Cuban revolutionary
activities between Florida and Cuba, along with investigating
rumors of Spanish government agents operating in Key West.
Most of all, this is to be accomplished quietly,
to prevent international embarrassment for newly elected
President Grover Cleveland, the first Democrat in the White
House in 25 years.
The investigation takes Wake to places he thought he
knew so well: Havana, Key West, Tampa, and the islands of
Florida’s southwest coast. But the further he delves, the
more he realizes how much he doesn’t know, and is drawn
inexorably into the center of the most catastrophic event in
Key West history, when over half the city was destroyed.
in the end, Peter Wake makes a decision that may well shock
his readers—one involving the very darkest shade of honor.
June, 1888. Commander Peter Wake, U.S. naval intelligence
agent, is in Florida culminating an espionage mission to learn
Spain’s naval readiness in Cuba and looking forward to a
long delayed leave. But then a beautiful woman from his past
shows up, begging him to find her missing son. A man like Wake
has no choice, and sets off with an odd assortment of
companions across Florida, through the Bahamian islands, and
deep into the dank jungles of Haiti. His band includes a
Smithsonian ethnologist, a Bahamian Seminole sailor, Russian
spies, and a Polish-Haitian soldier. Overcoming storms,
mutiny, shipwrecks and death, Wake discovers the hidden lair
of an anarchist group planning to wreak havoc around the
world—unless he stops it.
September 1888, and Commander Peter Wake, Office of Naval
Intelligence, has been ordered to salvage his failed espionage
operation against the Spanish Navy in Havana. His network of
spies in the city is compromised, international political
tensions are escalating, the U.S. presidential election is
looming, and Wake has five days to locate and rescue two of
his network who are missing and assumed captured by the
immediately realizes that his old nemesis Colonel Isidro Marrón,
head of the dreaded Spanish counter-intelligence service, has
set the perfect trap to kill him. Wake’s covert American
team of experts in linguistics, chemistry, and lock picking,
are soon hard pressed to just stay alive as they struggle to
carry out his hastily conceived plan.
in the midst of all this chaos, Wake saves the lives of
Havana’s Spanish elite, forms a nervous friendship with the
colonial governor, receives an odd message from his Cuban
revolutionary friend José Martí, encounters the shadowy
world of international Freemasonry, and forms an unusual bond
with the legendary actress Sarah Bernhardt.
Wake really trust anyone, or anything, in Cuba?
early 1889. Germany is trying to add the islands of Samoa to
its burgeoning Pacific empire. For six months, German and
American naval forces have been engaged in an escalating war
confrontation at the main Samoan island of Upolu. Warships are
at battle stations. Reinforcements from both nations are on
the way. The press in Berlin and San Francisco are calling for
national honor to be defended. At any minute, open combat may
erupt. All it will take is one miscalculation…
Commander Peter Wake, Office of Naval Intelligence, has been
given an impossible assignment by President Grover Cleveland,
whose administration will end on March 4th, and who
plans on running for the presidency again in four years.
Cleveland doesn’t want a war to be the legacy of his first
term in office. Wake is ordered to get to Samoa and
clandestinely accomplish one of two things: somehow prevent
war from breaking out, or win it decisively at the outset to
prevent it from spreading around the globe.
the help of an unlikely team found along the way—a Hawaiian
artillery officer, a renegade Methodist minister, and a
beautiful shyster—Wake is led into situations he never
anticipated, for the South Pacific is a very dangerous place
indeed. And in the end, he faces a foe more daunting than any
before in his life.
story in HONORS RENDERED is taken from the real history of the
South Pacific, where the clash of Germany and the United
States predated World War I by 25 years. The fascinating story
of the islands and people of Hawaii, New Guinea, the Solomon
Islands, and Samoa, are all part of the novel. It took seven
years to research and write this tale of treachery,
bravery, nobility, and greed, including six voyages throughout
the South Pacific. It was finally completed in 2012,
after living for six weeks at Upolu and Pago Pago in Samoa to
finish the manuscript.
The next novel, THE ASSASSIN’S HONOR,
will come out in the Fall of 2015.